So far, South Korea’s economy and related exchange traded fund (ETF) barely sidestepped a recession as government and central bank policies start to kick in.
Economic data for the first quarter revealed growth for the South Korean economy of 0.1%, which surprised many analysts who forecasted a small contraction, reports Bettina Wassener for The New York Times. But, many economists are projecting a 3% contraction for 2009.
Both Hyundai and Samsung, the largest South Korean exporter, reported diminished profits, but were still doing better than anticipated. South Korea is an export-dependent country with exports accounting for 45% of GDP.
The surprisingly upbeat economic results are also attributed to the fiscal tax cuts and spending measures, along with monetary interest rate cuts. A depreciating won has resulted in South Korea’s exporters seeing more overseas demand for their cheaper goods.
- iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY): up 18.5% year-to-date; Samsung Electronics is 19.2%, Hyundai is 2.7%
Max Chen contributed to this article.
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